Well into the twentieth century the Beta Israel [Ethiopian Jews] were so isolated, they believed themselves to be the only Jews in the world,"" explains Schur (The Circlemaker, p. 74) in a note that also mentions the flight of many of their number to Sudan and Israel in the wake of civil war and famine in the 1980s. Text and illustrations here portray the way of life these refugees left behind. On the last workday of the week, the younger children study and help their mother while the older narrator assists his father and uncle in their traditional trade as blacksmiths and others are engaged in farming and weaving. Everyone works especially hard to be ready for the Sabbath by sundown. The next day, wearing clean white robes, the whole village worships in their simple synagogue and shams a communal meal. The well-detailed text is beautifully complemented by Pinkney's art, the carefully observed figures and landscapes rendered in scratchboard illuminated with rich color. A handsome and informative book.